Condoms are running out in Gauteng and Western Cape

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

South Africa's HIV prevention strategy has been dealt a major blow by a critical shortage of male condoms, the Treatment Action Campaign has warned.

TAC spokesman Joanna Gorton said stock was "running out", especially in Gauteng and Western Cape. She said Gauteng, which usually gets 500000 free condoms a month from the government, had run out of stock for December.

Gorton said Western Cape had received 1,3million condoms instead of six million. The Department of Health usually distributed 33million free Choice condoms a month to all nine provinces but only seven million were available.

TAC said the stock was "woefully inadequate" because of an expected increase in sexual activity and mobility during the festive season.

It said the shortage was due to a "delay in awarding the national condom tender".